2014 News - Flights - MONARCH AIRLINES: LAST COMMERCIAL FLIGHT ON AIRBUS A300-605R AFTER 23 YEARS OF SERVICE
14 04 2014
MONARCH AIRLINES: LAST COMMERCIAL FLIGHT ON AIRBUS A300-605R AFTER 23 YEARS OF SERVICE
(Luton, UK – 14 April 2014) Monarch Airlines retired the last Airbus A300 from its fleet on Sunday, 13th April 2014; the long serving aircraft had been in service since 1991. In a fitting end to this aircraft’s service, the final flight was piloted by the Chief Pilot of Monarch Airlines, Martin Pound. Martin has served with Monarch for over 36 years and in 1991, was the pilot charged with flying the first A300 into service.
The first wide-body twin-engine airliner, Monarch’s A300 fleet have carried in excess of 20 million passengers and is the last operator of the passenger-variant of the Airbus A300 in a European environment.
Monarch Airlines ordered four Airbus A300-605Rs, the first two arriving in 1990, followed by two further examples in 1991. In 1990, Monarch Airlines operated two Airbus A300s for Australian start-up carrier Compass Airlines. In Monarch service, the aircraft were used to pioneer the airlines transatlantic services to Florida and the Caribbean, as well as long-haul services to India and the Maldives.
The aircraft proved to be extremely versatile, operating to destinations all over the world. In 2008, a Premium Cabin was installed on the aircraft for the first time, allowing up to 50 passengers to sit in a private, upgraded cabin environment.
Monarch’s A300s were the final passenger-carrying examples in service with a European airline, and with its retirement from service, the passenger variant of Airbus’ first entry in to the commercial airliner market, will become a very rare sight in European skies
Martin Pound, Chief Pilot for Monarch Airlines comments: “I was the first project pilot appointed in 1989. I was involved the in the delivery of the aircraft and the first commercial flight from London Gatwick to Toulouse in 1990. I flew the first flight and now I am flying the last, I am very proud, but at the same time very sad.”